Michael Wheeler

2 June 2021
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Dr. Michael Wheeler PhD

Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Harvard Medical University
Boston (MA) | USA

My background is in immunology and neuroscience, with an emphasis on neuroimmune mechanisms controlling astrocytes and other glial cells in multiple sclerosis and CNS inflammation. As a post-doc, I made several contributions to our understanding of how astrocytes are influenced by, and exert influence over, inflammation of the central nervous system. In particular, I focused on: (1) the development of a new method, RABID-seq, used to analyze astrocyte networks with single-cell and genome-wide precision (Clark*, Gutiérrez-Vázquez*, Wheeler* et al., Science 2021); (2) a gut-immune-brain axis controlling astrocyte-induced apoptosis of pro-inflammatory effector T cells (Sanmarco*, Wheeler*, et al., Nature 2021); (3)astrocyte heterogeneity in multiple sclerosis and its animal model, EAE, which is regulated by pathogenic T cells and epigenetic modifications (Wheeler et al., Nature 2020); and (4) pathways exploited by environmental pollutants that exacerbate pro-inflammatory astrocyte responses in EAE and MS (Wheeler et al., Cell 2019). I also made several other contributions to our understanding of neuroimmune cross-talk in CNS inflammation focused on multiple sclerosis/EAE, glioblastoma, Zika virus infection, and epilepsy. My long-term goal is to apply our understanding of CNS immune responses in autoimmunity to other disorders, including neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, with the objective of identifying therapeutically tractable molecular targets.

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